Leslie Danks Burke, Founder and President of Trailblazers PAC

Today we were able to speak with Leslie Danks Burke.

She is a public advocate and the Founder and President of  TRAILBLAZERS PAC :  a political action committee dedicated to finding and supporting candidates for local political office beyond typical party ideology and structure.

Based in Horseheads, NY, Leslie’s goal is to improve the quality of candidates and the political discourse in this country, one municipality at a time.  

Their mission statement states: “Trailblazers PAC reconnects citizens with democracy by moving politics out of the back room and onto the front porch. We educate candidates on building an honest donor relationship with their own voters. We invest in candidates for local office who take action for clean government.”

She is here to help us

  • make sense of the current political environment,
  • its impact on the current political apparatus, and
  • the direction of grass root campaigns going forward



  • Where are you located?
  • Work Background
  • Interest in politics

Frustrations with the System

  • Consensus between parties being thwarted
  • Quality candidates scared off by a poor process
  • Lack of new ideas / good ideas thwarted
  • Entrenched interests
  • Impact of money


  • The Impact of Trump on the Political Industrial Complex
  • Big gov’t v. small gov’t
  • Changes in the media and distortions in “story distribution”
  • Gerrymandering / obstructionist voting laws and other distortions
  • Lobbying interests
  • Schisms in voters along income, education and cultural fault lines
  • The pull of better economics (and weather!) in other states
  • How do you establish consensus-common ground

The Opportunities for Positive Change

  • What does Trailblazers seek to do?
  • What type of races are interesting
  • What geography?
  • Is there an ideology?
  • Improving candidate quality/interparty dialogue?
  • Predictions for the future

How do we keep track of your progress?






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